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MBJ FOCUS: State’s tourism tumbles amid pandemic

By LISA MONTI The year started out on an upbeat note for the Coast’s tourism industry. The visitor numbers for January and February were the best in four years, and March was on track to continue the trend. Nearly $750 million worth of projects including upscale hotels and the Mississippi Aquarium were on the verge of opening. Coastal Mississippi, the ...

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VCVB’s Gatian Receives Tourism Marketing Certification

Ashley Gatian, sales manager at the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau (VCVB), has earned certification as a “Travel Marketing Professional” after completing the three-year program of the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College. Gatian has worked at the VCVB since February 2012 and is responsible for group tours, recruiting meetings and conventions, international sales, and facilitating travel media.

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COVID-19 not yet impacting visitation and conventions on Coast and Jackson

By BECKY GILLETTE The situation with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the U.S. is rapidly changing. An example is the number of states with confirmed cases went from 19 on March 6 to 34 states and the District of Columbia on March 9. There is great concern about nose dives in the U.S. stock markets, and how fears of ...

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And the Grammy (Museum) goes to … Cleveland Mississippi

Tourism tax revenue has increased nearly 34 percent in Cleveland in the last five years By NASH NUNNERY The announcement stunned the entertainment world nine years ago. “And the Grammy (Museum) goes to…Cleveland… Mississippi.” The second and only official Grammy Museum outside of Los Angeles, Grammy Museum Mississippi opened but a stone’s throw from the Delta State University campus in ...

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Elvis museum helps drive business in Tupelo

By LYNN LOFTON He’s been deceased 43 years but Elvis Presley is still making money for Tupelo, his hometown. The Lee County city is about all things Elvis — his birthplace and museum, a festival and sites around town such as the hardware store where he purchased his first guitar and the restored Lyric Theater where he saw movies and ...

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Effective management allows for sustainable shark fishery

As some of the top predators in the ocean, sharks fill vital roles by regulating food web dynamics and maintaining balance in their ecosystems. The Gulf of Mexico is home to more than 40 different species of sharks that vary in size (3 feet to 15 feet) and habitat distribution (inshore, coastal waters versus offshore, open waters). Large shark species ...

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Columbus ship replicas sail into Mississippi harbor

Replicas of Christopher Columbus’ Niña and Pinta have arrived along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, sailing into a Biloxi harbor as spectators aimed their phones out to the horizon. About a dozen spectators lined a pier Wednesday as the ships arrived. Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic on the Niña on his three voyages of discovery to the New World beginning in ...

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UK, Canada, Germany and Brazil top list of tourists in Mississippi

By LYNN LOFTON  It may be surprising to learn that 11 percent of  jobs in Mississippi are in the hospitality industry. With 122,850 jobs in tourism, that sector is now the fourth largest private employer in the state. Other impressive numbers include 24.7 million visitors who came to the state and spent $6.7 billion in fiscal year 2019. Mississippi Development ...

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New hotel set for February opening in D’Iberville

The new Hampton Inn & Suites in D’Iberville has a target opening date of Feb. 20, when it will unveil the newest design of the popular Hilton brand to the city. The four story, 89 room property in the Promenade Shopping Center is steps away from another Hilton hotel, the Home 2 Suites, which has been open for seven years. ...

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Ocean Springs Chamber announces 2020 Board of Directors

The Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce – Main Street – Tourism Bureau has selected the Board of Directors for the 2020 calendar year. The Board consists of five executive members, Shirley LeRoy with South Mississippi Living as President, Carole Marie with The Bird House as Vice President, Sandra Carter as Secretary, David Thompson as Treasurer, Brad Cates with Mississippi Power ...

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